A report from CryptoCompare demonstrated that Tether is still the most widely used stablecoin, being used far more than any other. According to the report that analyzed all the figures for November, 79.65% of all the Bitcoins being traded for fiat or stablecoins were traded in the BTC/USDT pair.
This represents a whopping total of 9.69 million Bitcoins being traded for USDT in just the month of November. Another interesting statistic shown by the report is that the market is controlled by four major stablecoins (USDT, USDC, PAX, TUSD) and USDT represents 97.52% of the total Bitcoin trading into these four coins.
Even when we compare the stablecoin’s trading volume with crypto-to-fiat volumes, it’s clear USDT still dominates. It’s now even used in derivatives, as crypto exchange OKEx recently launched USDT-margined futures.
Stablecoins have greatly benefited the infrastructure and growth of the crypto market, giving liquidity to investors and enabling them to hedge against the market’s volatility. Companies like Coinbase and Gemini have backed their own stablecoins, USDC and GUSD respectively, as the market for them keeps growing.
A Controversial Stablecoin
The controversy surrounding the most dominant stablecoin started in 2017, when through leaked documents the crypto community learned that Bitfinex and Tether Ltd. had the same owners. But the most relevant occurrence was when industry experts published the “Is Bitcoin Really Un-Tethered?” document.
The paper in question claims that Tether was a crucial piece in fueling the last crypto boom of 2017, arguing that the supply of USDT was bigger than the demand, causing an artificial demand for BTC and other cryptos.
Another major concern is the uncertainty surrounding the backing of USDT. In January of 2018, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) issued a subpoena against Bitfinex and Tether. The financial regulator wanted proof that there were enough reserves to back the 2.3 billion tokens issued by Tether.
A financial audit can be found in Tether’s official website, but critics claim it contains some inconsistencies. The audit does not disclose the names of the banks involved nor the jurisdiction in which they operate and the business relationship between Tether and the law firm responsible for the report, Freeh, Sporkin & Sullivan LLP (FSS), came to a halt.